Teams, Tribes, and Terrible People

By Rebecca Layton Gunter

Teams, Tribes, and Terrible People

A chef I know is looking to move up in his career. He is deep in discovery mode and manifesting a big boost in his professional life that will grow into something awesome.

Dear Lord, please grant me the creative control to make culinary magic, the hospitality to keep it popular, and the good sense to keep it profitable.

This got me thinking about teams.

It’s easy to see why his dream of finding a place of his own to do some great work is worth chasing. When you discover a restaurant that gets the recipe right, you’ve found a special spot. You know it’s got that je n’ais sais quoi by the way people interact with each other. Positive and proactive? Things get done, relationships are healthy, and people get paid. The good energy is contagious.

I’ve worked in restaurants for half my life. The ones that work — I mean, they really sing — it comes right down to the team. You may have the most spectacular menu in the world, but the magic happens in the hands of a good team. Customers will come back again and again to engage with a tribe of loyal fans having fun. #LivetheBrand

It’s what keeps places like Buck’s Fishing & Camping, Komi, and A. Litteri’s delivering consistently good warm and fuzzy experiences after more than ten years. It’s why they are legends in their own right. Because the people who work there are a kick-ass team of hospitality pros with a passion for the product.

Branding is a feeling — and these places have all the feels.

Now I’m noticing good teams all around me; rocking their personal brands and forming cohesive, effective, and invested squads of staff and supporters.

I don’t think that all successful people have great teams.
But happy successful people do.

Attracting people to your project can have a tremendous payoffs in your ability to rocket your business forward and feel a part of something bigger. Here's how to make that happen: 

  1. Nurture your network and build your tribe. Being an entrepreneur can be tremendously lonely. There you are, toiling away at your kitchen table, trying to make connections and build a resonating brand. You cannot do it alone. Nor should you have to. Get out there and build alliances. Show up with authenticity and generosity of spirit and good people will start sticking to you — in a good way.

  2. Tap into your biggest fans. They are already here. You already have a team of kickass assets and allies. Get your head out of your laptop and look around you. You’ve got cheerleaders on the sidelines, partners in the game, and coaches rooting for you in your circle of friends. Tap into that.

  3. Team up with other networks and grow together. There are gazillions of like-minded networks of people growing memberships and doing great things. You don’t have to build your own; someone else is already building them. Align yourself with other groups with similar goals and access their tribes. Provide good programming, content, or contributions and it will soon become a “mutual admiration society.”

  4. When you get there, hire for culture. Ready to graduate from solopreneur and build a company? For long terms health and well-being, forget all the technical skills that you’re looking for and hire for culture. Find people that you can work with everyday (in sometimes stressful conditions) and teach them all the Things.

  5. Play to your strengths. Get real about the things you do that make your heart sing and your stomach sink. Find someone else who loves to do the icky bits and collaborate on the greater good.

  6. Have fun! The most magnetic and results-driven teams are the ones having fun doing it. Everyone wants to be a part of a group of grown folks doing great work and looking like they are having a blast doing it. Build fun into your strategic plan, and your team will thank you for it. Sisarina hosts a game night where crew and clients best each other in Cards Against Humanity. Yes, we’re terrible people.

I know that you are passionate about your project, and maybe it feels like you’re the only one. Start manifesting a great team by nurturing your network; most of those folks are already cheering you on. Connect to networks already built by other like-minded folks. Onboard staff that fit your values and culture and let them do what they are the best at. Have a great time doing it.


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